We have identified over 650 questions and answers concerning many of the topics featured on this site. The information is categorised and can be reached by navigating via the entries below.

Information can also be retrieved using the Search box. This will search through the entire list of FAQ entries (in the Title and the Body) and will return results based on a match based on the words you input. If you wish, you may enter complete questions, e.g. "What currency would we use in an independent Scotland".

How will research be supported in an independent Scotland?

The excellence of Scottish universities is recognised internationally and they are highly successful in winning competitive funding grants. Building on their reputation our universities will continue to compete for substantial funding for their research on the same competitive basis as they do currently.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will an independent Scotland set up its own research councils?

There are a number of options for research funding in an independent Scotland including establishing a Scottish Research Council for the allocation of research monies or as a mechanism for directing funding into existing pan-UK research councils. We recognise the benefits – for the academic community, business and research charities across the UK – of maintaining long-term stability in research funding and systems that support initiatives of scale and researchers working together across boundaries. With independence we will seek to maintain a common research area with the rest of the UK including existing shared Research Councils.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Why would UK research councils continue to fund research in an independent Scotland?

Scotland already contributes to funding of the UK Research Councils through the tax base and this Government intends that it should continue to contribute as an independent country. The excellence of Scottish universities’ research is reflected in their success in winning competitive UK Research Council grant funding.

The rest of the UK benefits from Scotland’s high quality research and our centres of excellence and shared infrastructure are used by researchers from across the UK including: five Medical Research Council research centres; five Isotope facilities; the All-Waters Combined Current and Wave Test Facility; and the Roslin Institute.

Successful research depends on collaboration across boundaries, whether disciplinary, institutional or national. Research collaboration contributes directly to the competitiveness of the Scottish and UK economies through knowledge creation and exchange and direct collaboration with business, as well as supporting intellectual life and the academic aspirations of institutions and researchers.

It is in both Scotland’s and the UK’s interests to minimise any barriers to research collaboration and to maintain a common research area.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

How would the research councils be funded?

Scotland already contributes to the funding of the Research Councils through the tax base. Following independence, Scotland would contribute directly from the Scottish Government budget giving us a clearer role in setting the strategic objectives of these bodies. With independence, we would intend to negotiate with Westminster a fair funding formula for Scotland’s contribution based on population share but taking reasonable account of the fact that the amount of research funding received by Scottish institutions from the Research Councils may reflect higher or lower levels of funding.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will independence weaken university research in Scotland?

No. We will seek to continue the current common research area arrangements and funding through the existing research councils. And while the UK will remain an important research partner, Scotland can also build on the significant successes achieved in working across European boundaries by hosting international research centres who are increasingly attracted to Scotland by the quality of our research base. The current Scottish Government supports the European Commission in its ambition for “a reinforced European research area partnership for excellence and growth” with researchers, research institutions and businesses moving, competing and co-operating across borders more intensively.

Levels of public investment in university research will be sufficient to enable our researchers and universities to remain internationally competitive with current levels of public investment in university research, through the Scottish Funding Council and Research Councils, at least maintained as part of wider and longer term plans to enhance levels of investment in research and development in Scotland from the private sector and other sources.

The present Scottish Government also intends to use the powers of independence to address one of the biggest threats to research in Scotland as a result of the policies of the current Westminster Government. We plan to reintroduce the poststudy work visa, which was abolished by Westminster in April 2012. This visa will encourage more talented people from around the world to further their education in Scotland, providing income for Scotland’s institutions and contributing to a growing economy.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

How will Scottish research continue to benefit from UK charities’ research funding?

Charities, like businesses, will make decisions to fund research in an independent Scotland based upon reputation, excellence and value for money – just as they do now. For example, for as long as our universities and NHS research base continue to be seen as world leaders in the research and treatment of diseases – from cancer to Parkinson’s – then Scotland will continue to attract funding accordingly.

UK charities, such as Cancer Research, provided competitively funded research in Scotland of £121 million in 2011/12. Scots are also generous contributors to UK charities, both financially and by way of fundraising and volunteering activities.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

How will independence affect jobs of academics and those in related areas?

The current Scottish Government’s investment in our universities has allowed them to attract an increasing number of talented researchers and academics from around the world. This has contributed to our success and independence would put our universities in an even stronger position as it would allow Scotland to remove the barriers caused by the current Westminster Government’s visa regulations.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

How will postgraduate study be supported in an independent Scotland?

Education is already fully devolved to the Scottish Parliament. The current Scottish Government has demonstrated its commitment to supporting postgraduate study and would maintain this commitment following independence.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.